Random Thoughts: September Edition

Another month, another post full of random thoughts that have been going through my head. Hope it sparks a little thought in people and you enjoy!

  1. Racehorses are not workhorses. If you want a fast team, treat all your horses like race horses. Train them for speed, not work. – Tony Holler
  2. You are allowed to change your mind in this field. Changing isn’t a sign of inconsistency or lack of knowledge, its a sign of learning and developing as a coach. Change is simply an indication of learning.
  3. We should train every athlete or adult that we work with to be a better human mover – nothing else is more important then fundamental movements done well.
  4. Coaches continually over-think this stuff. Pat Davidson said something along these lines on the last Strength Coach Podcast; train at different velocities and loads, in various planes, for various periods of time. Seems like pretty simple but logical advice.
  5. Your ability in the frontal plane will dictate your technical ability in the sagittal plane. – Lee Taft
  6. I think dead bugs are an extremely under-rated exercise and something that most everyone can benefit from. Limbs moving while the core stays stable and helping to improve anterior pelvic tilt along with many other benefits. Vernon Griffith has done a lot of Instagram by putting out a ton of different variations for those interested.
  7. A lot of athleticism is how well you can move outside of the sagittal plane. Nothing wrong with bilateral/sagittal lifts, but they are a small part of a well rounded program.
  8. As much as I enjoy Olympic lifts and feel they have a place in most all training programs, I’m not sure they are going to carryover to the rotational/frontal plane as much as some people may think or hope. If an athlete requires rotational/frontal power (probably most athletes), I think you need to specifically train that quality. More multi-plane jumping and more multi-plane med ball work is probably a great place to start.
  9. Not an absolute, but I think athletes that can perform sets of 1-leg squats are less likely to suffer from non-contact knee injuries, probably because of an improved ability to handle deceleration/absorbing single leg landings, improved proprioception and improved stability in all three planes of motion, along with other reasons.
  10. The most creative coaches are learners. Because their minds are open to new ideas, because they constantly seek out different ways of doing things, of thinking about things – their minds are constantly active. – H.A. Dorfman

1-Leg Squat for Injury Prevention?

Not an absolute, but I think athletes that can perform sets of 1-Leg Squats are less likely to suffer non-contact knee injuries compared to athletes that can’t perform the movement, probably because of;

  • An improved ability to handle deceleration/absorbing single leg landings whether jumping or running
  • An improved proprioception
  • An improved ability to remain stabile in all three planes

Developing Power Outside the Frontal Plane

As much as I enjoy Olympic lifts and feel they have a place in most all training programs, I’m not sure they are going to carryover to the rotational/frontal plane as much as some people may think or hope. If an athlete requires rotational/frontal power (probably most athletes), I think you need to specifically train that quality

Hockey is a perfect example of this;

  • Skating is essentially a frontal plane movement. If you want to develop more powerful skaters, bounding and jumping in the frontal plane would be a great idea
  • Shooting a puck is a rotational movement. If you want to shoot harder, throwing med balls in a rotational manner would be extremely beneficial.

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. – Labor Day edition! Enjoy!

  1. One common trend you see amongst the best coaches, whether we are talking about strength coaches or sport coaches is the desire to learn – they want to know what they are doing wrong so they can make their program better. Coaches who are superior learners allow themselves to be wrong in order to be certain of what’s right. Great coaches are disappointed when they find out there is a better way of doing things, they are excited because they now have an opportunity to improve upon what they are doing.
  2. As much as I enjoy Olympic lifts and feel they have a place in most training programs, I’m not sure they are going to carryover to the rotational/frontal plane as much as we think or hope. If an athlete requires rotational/frontal plane power, you need to train that quality. Hockey is a perfect example of this. If you want to develop faster skaters, train power in the frontal plane. If you want to shoot a puck harder, throw med balls in the frontal plane.
  3. Sprinting is the most explosive exercise in the world. Nothing in the weight room moves at 10 meters per second. I’m not telling people not to lift, but sprinting, in and of itself, builds functional strength that directly transfers to athleticism. – Tony Holler

 

 

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into this past week. Like every week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts.

For podcasts, I really enjoyed the Iron Game Chalk Talk episode with Ted Perlak from the University of Delaware. It was slightly different then other strength and conditioning podcast as this had more of a focus on the admin side of things which I found extremely interesting.

For articles, I would recommend taking a look at the article on the nervous system and how it controls range of motion. In short, the nervous system controls everything.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

Pacey Performance with Ramsey Nijem

Strength Coach Podcast #237

CVASP #148 with Joey Bergles

Iron Game Chalk Talk with Ted Perlak

Articles 

CrossFit and Confirmation Bias by Eric Cressey

We All Need Reminding by Anthony Morando

The Warm Up by Jennifer Reiner-MarcelloThe Warm Up by Jennifer Reiner-Marcello

Nervous System Controls Range of Motion by Mark Musselman

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. Tony Holler in an article on developing speed speaks about how strength coach should be looking to develop racehorses not workhorses. As Tony says, “Horses that can plow a field all day can’t win a race. Too many coaches take thoroughbreds and force them to plow fields. If you want a fast team (and who doesn’t?), treat all your horses like race horses. Train them for speed, not work.” I think that’s pretty spot on and Tony’s thoughts on speed have without a doubt influenced how I am programming currently. I am still trying to develop strength in athletes, but I have put more of an emphasis on developing more powerful/faster athletes.
  2. I think this is something most coaches would agree with yet most coaches don’t emphasis in their strength programs: diaphragmatic breathing is probably a low hanging fruit that most all athletes can benefit from.
  3. With most athletes coming back on campus this week, here is something to keep in mind. Most athletes will remember how you treated them and how you made them feel far longer then they will remember your kick-ass workout. Coach accordingly.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into this past week. Like every week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts.

For podcasts, Michelle Boland has been making the rounds on a handful of podcasts recently and she is extremely bright. Michelle always has some great thoughts and in the podcast with Mike Robertson was no different.

For articles, give the article about training every single day by Lee Boyce. Would I recommend training that many days in a row? No. But I think there are some great thoughts and knowledge that Lee shares as a result of the experiment.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

Physical Prep with Michelle Boland

Physical Prep with Lance Walker

Pursuit of Excellence with Michael Boyle

Vigor Life Podcast #60

Articles

Sport Specific Training by Michael Boyle

How to Balance Pressing in Your Strength Program by Eric Cressey

The Rise of the College Football Coach by NY Times

Training for 365 Straight Days by Lee Boyce

Isometric Multi-Holds

Another training protocol we’ve stolen from Anthony Donskov’s work is adding Isometric Multi Holds for our last set of certain exercises on our work capacity days for more time under tension and working more isometric work into the program, among other things.

How it works;
👉 Perform the required amount of reps then hold for 5-20 seconds and repeat for the total amount of reps

How we implement it;
The two lower body videos
👉 2 reps, 10 second hold, 2 reps, 10 second hold, 2 reps, 10 second hold
The upper body row video
👉 4 reps, 20 second hold, 4 reps, 15 second hold, 4 reps, 10 second hold

Give it a try, it’s a lot more demanding then it seems!

Current Lower Body Training

Here is a little look into what my lower body training looks likes these days. Lots of single leg work. Lots of joint friendly training. Not a lot of spinal loading. Here’s why…

Lowest System Load: Trying to get the maximal benefit with the lowest overall load. As I get older my body doesn’t recover as well from many heavy bilateral lifts and quite honestly my desire to lift crazy heavy just isn’t there – and trust me, no one truly cares how much you squat or deadlift.

Less Spinal Loading: Again, as I get older, the less my body enjoys heavy spinal loading (it actually never really liked it). Plus, I think your body will thank in 20 years for not putting huge loads on your spine, no matter what your current age.

Joint Friendly: Training movement patterns (not leg presses and leg extensions) without putting excessive wear and tear on the joints.

Longevity: It would be nice to be able to tie my shoes, get up and down off the floor, and all the other little things we take for granted when we are young when I am 60+ years old.

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. Being strong is never going to hurt anyone, but there is a point when you are probably strong enough. If a male athlete can only deadlift 135lbs, then getting that athlete to be able to deadlift 405lbs is going to make a world of difference. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much of a difference getting an athlete from a 405lbs deadlift to a 450+lbs is going to make. At some point there are other qualities to chase – there is a point of diminishing returns.
  2. I still think most people over-complicate the training process. It isn’t as complicated as people want to make it out to be.
  3. Being a good athletes is more then just being strong in the sagittal plane. Yes, getting strong in the sagittal plane is going to help many athletes. But, you have to get athletes strong, mobile and powerful outside of the sagittal plane if you want to see the biggest carryover to sport. There aren’t many sports played purely in the sagittal plane.